Mirador Orocovis-Villalba (Carr. 143 between Orocovis and Villalba, Wed.–Sun. 9 a.m.–5 p.m.) is a newly constructed park and overlook 2,000 feet above sea level. From here you can see both the island’s north and south coasts. There are also a children’s playground and picnic tables.
Doña Juana Recreation Center (Carr. 143, km 32.4, 787/724-3724, daily 7:30 a.m.–4 p.m.) is part of Toro Negro Forest. Here you’ll find a beautiful large natural pool formed by the waters of the Cordillera Central, perfect for taking a dip. There’s also a lookout tower with great views of the mountains.
The biggest draw to Ciales is its underground rivers and caves: Yuyu Cave, La Virgen Cave, Las Archillas Cave, and Las Golondrina Cave, where you can find sea fossils, stalactites, and columns. For information call 787/871-3500, ext. 266, or contact one of several adventure-tour operators in the area who offer guided expeditions.
In addition to its spectacular caves, Ciales has several modest sights worth seeking out if you’re in the area, including the Museo del Café (Calle Palmer at Paseo del Aroma, 787/857-6293, Mon.–Fri. 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.), which celebrates Ciales as the only municipality on the island whose largest agricultural product is still coffee; Museo Juan Antonio Corretjer (7 Calle Betances, 787/871-3500, Sat. 8 a.m.–4 p.m.), dedicated to the renowned Puerto Rican poet; and Puente Mata Plátano José Jiménez (Carr. 149 at Carr. 132), a historic iron bridge.
© Suzanne Van Atten from Moon Puerto Rico, 2nd Edition